December 7, 2010

Who Are We?

We need titles and names. It’s what makes us who we are and defines us. Sometimes choosing one is not easy. I even had trouble naming this blog and may change it before it posts.

I’ve heard some women get offended over being called ladies. Personally, I consider it a compliment because where I come from only well bred women with manners are referred to as “ladies.”

We’ve changed the titles of employment to include women. We no longer have secretaries and in their place we have Administrative Assistants. Funny thing is in the beginning all secretaries were men.

When I was a little girl we had Trash Men but that no longer sounds nice so we moved on to Garbage Collectors and even further to Sanitation Engineers. I don’t feel very sanitized after they’ve been by but we won’t go into that.

Nationalities are a tricky group to name and we have changed most several times over the course of the years mostly due to people turning their titles into something ugly.

The way you say a word, tone and facial expressions can greatly change the meaning. Some words are just plain mean no matter how nice you try to make them sound.

Native Americans are a group that has had trouble with names over the years. We started out being called Indians because some poor lost man thought he was in India. That one stuck for hundreds of years until someone one day decided it didn’t make sense and decided to call us Native Americans or American Indians. In my opinion neither one fits us still.

Anyone who was born in America is a native American. Native means being such by birth or origin.

American Indian doesn’t work because if a person of Indian decent, meaning whose ancestors come from India is an American citizen he is an Indian American so you see how that can be confusing.

Another title that fits best, until some smarty-pants anthropologist comes along and proves different is “First People.” Indigenous Americans also works but is difficult for small children to say.

African Americans have had many names some very rude and derogatory. Most recently they were called black, which doesn’t fit because most are not black. They come in many lovely skin tones from high yellow all the way up to cocoa.

I always thought colored was the best description but that one didn’t work either because a few decades ago everyone who was not white was filed under the category of “colored.”

Funny how Caucasian people have always been called “white people” and that one never seems to change.

I don’t think we should worry about what to call each other and just remember we are all people. We bleed red, we cry tears and we love our families and friends. That’s all we really need to know.

Morandi - Colors